From Jennifer Aniston to Gwyneth Paltrow to Reese Witherspoon, the many famous faces that celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman has painted over the years all have one thing in common: Flawless, lit-from-within skin. Creating complexion perfection has become Westman’s signature for good reason. “My entire career I have been so focused on merging makeup and skincare in the style that I have created over the years, and I’ve become known for that type of skin that’s like the enhanced, absolute best version of your skin,” Westman says. “It’s not necessarily always the same interpretation for each person, but it’s always the best for that person. It’s my philosophy around layering skincare and makeup, and the fusion of the two.”
That makes her foray into skincare with her luxury clean makeup brand, Westman Atelier, even more exciting. It took five years of research and development before Westman Atelier Skin Activator was ready to come into the world. “Obviously, the space is really saturated and I wanted something that would truly be skincare, in terms of including active ingredients at efficacy levels,” Westman says. “It feels quite natural to be launching pure skincare after this amount of time and having experience with [being] a consultant for SK-II for many years. I love that it all starts with the skin. It begins and ends with the skin.”
Just like her cosmetics, Skin Activator was created with incredibly nourishing and skin-loving ingredients. Westman stayed true to her philosophy of designing a product that doesn’t just improve the skin’s appearance instantly, but from within over time as well. The gel-serum hybrid is a blend of 12 actives. “I wanted to create this perfect storm with all of these hyper potent yet gentle active ingredients in one product that would be soothing, calming and reparative, that would focus on all of these different benefits without feeling aggressive,” Westman says.
As someone with sensitive skin herself, especially having rosacea and having gotten contact dermatitis from other products, Westman knows the value of gentle products. “Often, especially women, we like to feel that something is happening with our products because then a promise is being delivered,” she says of skincare that has a tingling or strong sensation. “But I’ve discovered with experience and over time that all of these ingredients can be very harmful and aggressive to your skin.”
A true triple threat, the Westman Atelier Skin Activator is designed to work in three ways: It restores, strengthening the skin barrier to leave skin soothed and moisturized; it corrects by lifting, firming, softening lines and minimizing the appearance of pores; and it protects with antioxidants to prevent future skin damage. The serum was formulated to be able to adjust and evolve with skin’s constantly changing needs. Designed to be absolutely universal, it works for all skin types and tones, ages and genders.
“This formula is the first to mimic the skin’s natural structure, so the ingredients can actually penetrate into the skin and at various times respond to the skin’s needs,” Westman says. There are four types of hyaluronic acid to address each skin need. “It’s super gentle, it’s light. This is where it begins and activates your skin for your perfect makeup application. Everything feels so nourishing.”
To create the advanced formula, Westman Atelier partnered with Korea’s leading skincare scientist, Dr. Raymond Park, who invented the multi-lamellar emulsion, which was the very first skin-like, non-prescription formula focused on healing and safeguarding the skin barrier. Skin Activator was formulated with the same award-winning science, so its delivery system mimic’s the skin’s natural structure to maximize absorption into the stratum corneum while being gentle. A layered structure of lipids and actives permits the active ingredients to penetrate the skin, boosting the moisture barrier in the process.
“I chose Dr. Park because I wanted somebody who focused on the science of the skin and was studying the behavior of the skin,” Westman says. “This multi-lamellar system was really fascinating to me. Also, he’s created incredible formulas for people with skin sensitivities, like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. I liked the authority, experience and knowledge he brought to the equation. If I was going to do skincare, I wanted to do it the right way. I wanted to take my time; I wanted it to have the perfect texture. It couldn’t interfere with makeup application because I find oftentimes when I’m using a serum, or something of that nature, it can pill under makeup and it becomes a total mess.”
By using the multi-lamellar format, they were able to include more active ingredients. “Sometimes if you use too many active ingredients or the wrong combination of active ingredients, they disrupt one another and cancel each other out,” Westman says. With the focus on safe and clean ingredients, it was important to Westman that the Skin Activator didn’t have any scent.
Since it’s designed to be worn under makeup, without any pilling, Westman says her Vital Skincare Complexion Drops are the perfect combination for a great base. Westman has always stressed the importance of properly prepping the skin for makeup. “It’s like if you eat pasta that’s made in Italy, at a beautiful Italian restaurant, versus pasta with sauce from a jar,” she says. “It’s an investment in your skin, the longevity of the health of your skin. I like the idea of pro aging. It’s inevitable, and there are things that we can do to proactively age gracefully and in a way in which you are happy and you’re participating in the process.”
Skin Activator is just the start for skincare for Westman Atelier. “I don’t think we ever will need 50 skincare products, but we do have something that is going to be out of this world as a compliment to the Skin Activator that we are launching later,” Westman says. “I always believe in extending the family, and it’s kind of this wardrobe of makeup and skincare for your face. As a consumer myself, I want the best of the best, and I want to continue to make products that people feel that way about. Ultimately, I want to be known as the ultimate brand for that perfect skin.”